Be thankful for this holiday and every day

Published 9:15 am Thursday, November 22, 2012

Column: Thanks for Listening

Happy Thanksgiving

Be kind

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My wish for you is this: Be thankful for each and every day. You never know how many you are blessed with to receive. Count all of your blessings. Count them every day.

To acknowledge that you have blessings is to recognize that you are, in fact, a walking, talking, loving, blessing to someone else. Cool, eh?


Black Friday

Tomorrow is Black Friday. It is the busiest shopping day of the year. Please do me a huge favor tomorrow and be kind to everyone. One gift everyone can give each other this holiday season is the gift of understanding. All that it will take is to count to 10 before saying an unkind word or making a begrudging smirk.

It is not that hard to be kind to others; in fact it is fun. Everyone is carrying some kind of a burden, and no one knows what each other person’s burden is. So take the time to be nice and hopefully that same respect will be paid back to you.


Sing it loud

Today is Thanksgiving and you know what that means?

No, not arguing with family members while trying to talk loudly over one another. No, not disagreeing over who gets to do the dishes. The greatest debate ever is, what is the greatest Christmas song ever?

Do you love traditional Christmas songs or contemporary Christmas music?

What genre? Country? Rock? Christian?

I personally love the older, more traditional country songs. I also think it matters who sing these songs as I love: “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” by Johnny Cash and “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby.

So, I am going to help move this debate along by listing many of the top Christmas songs. It is up to you to put in your own order of what you each think is the best. Many different artists also cover many of these songs, so you have to choose whom you think is the best artist to sing them is. I listed each song with the artist that I personally thought sang it the best. Have fun.

“Silent Night” by Johnny Cash.

“Away in The Manger” by Gene Autry.

“O Little Town Of Bethlehem” by Martina McBride.

“O Holy Night” by Nat King Cole.

“What Child Is This” by Johnny Mathis.

“Little Drummer Boy” by Johnny Cash.

“The Gifts They Gave” by Johnny Cash.

“Do You Hear What I Hear” by Martina McBride.

“Grown-Up Christmas List” by Amy Grant.

“Carol Of The Bells” by Mannheim Steamroller.

“Jingle Bell Rock” by Brenda Lee.

“Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” by Burl Ives.

“Frosty the Snowman” by Jimmy Durante.

“Baby it’s Cold Outside” by Rosemary Clooney and Bing Crosby.

“The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole.

“Blue Christmas” by Elvis Presley.

“Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow” by Dean Martin.

“Santa Baby” by Eartha Kitt.

“Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” by Elmo & Patsy.



I always found it a bit funny that people say “happy holidays” as to not offend anyone that is of a different religion or belief system. I would rather know what someone’s belief system is and try and find more information about what their beliefs are and find some common ground between our two religions.

I like to say “Merry Christmas” because I believe in Christ. I also would happily say “Happy Hanukkah” to my friends who are Jewish. Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days and nights (Dec. 1-9). In Hebrew, the word “Hanukkah” means dedication.

I would also say “Happy Kwanzaa” for my friends who are African-American. I think it is cool that the name Kwanzaa means first fruits. Each of the seven days of Kwanzaa (Dec. 26-Jan. 1) is dedicated to one of the following principles.

In order, they are:

Umoja (Unity), Kujichagulia (Self-determination), Ujima (Collective work and responsibility), Ujamaa (Cooperative economics), Nia (Purpose), Kuumba (Creativity) and Imani (Faith).

I think it is important to find common ground between religions as well as people because, well, think of the wars we could have avoided over the years if we just looked for common ground.

This season of holidays, we should remember this: Being too politically correct is an easy way to avoid making a new friend or finding out about something new. Search out somebody different than you and find out about him or her. It may just surprise you how much you have in common.


Tribune Publisher Scott Schmeltzer’s column appears every Thursday.